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Thursday, 4 August 2011

FF&FT Hardy Zenith Sintrix Rod Review

Magnus Angus from Flyfishing and Fly Tying magazine reviews the Hardy Zenith 9'6'' #7 fly rod...

'Having been teased with prototypes for a good few months, this is the first production Zenith I’ve used. Constructed using Hardy’s much advertised Sintrix material, Zenith is the first freshwater range to exploit the new resin system. It's one of those rods that feels firm and taut from the moment it’s assembled. As you thread the line you wonder if it’ll be too stiff. Then you roll the line out and realise it’s taut for a reason; the sense of precision is tangible.

This is a fast, crisp rod, so I was expecting good distance performance and wondering if it would feel dull at short range. From the first roll into a cast the Zenith impressed me and continued to impress as I got to know it.

Nicely shaped full wells grip – this one is well used!
Sintrix is touted as a strong/tough material but it also has the potential to take rods lighter if the designers decide to go that way. In the hand this is light, not shockingly light, but light. It feels to me as if Hardy did not feel compelled to go lighter than it needed. Actually, there are no surprises there. Speaking to Hardy’s rod guru (ie Howard, the product man) he mentioned that Zeniths would match the lightest rods on the market. I took that as implying he felt no reason to take it further at the moment.

As a casting tool, this Zenith is capable of extremely well controlled loops and that’s at medium range. Cast short and there’s enough ‘give’ for me to feel the rod bending. Lengthen the line and the Zenith gives a little more and I feel a little more. Loops are about as exact and precise as I can make them. That’s the thing really, this is designed as a performance rod, which it is, but I don’t feel I am stretching to keep up with it.

The expectation is that the first wave of anglers to adopt (ie buy) Sintrix based rods will be competent casters and committed fly fishers looking for a performance edge from something new. If they have the ability this rod is more than capable of rewarding them.

Reel seat detail
Hardy advertising emphasises the fish-playing strength of Sintrix. I doubt many single-handed Zeniths will be tested even close to their limits. Frankly, I can bully sizeable trout with this rod and come nowhere near breaking it. That strength will inevitably lead anglers to step down a weight, to choose a new outfit to replace one a line weight heavier. Fishing this Zenith I would have no qualms about letting it step into the shoes of an #8, provided I match the leader to the fly a #7 line is perfectly capable of handling a hefty fly – I’m thinking grilse, sea trout and the like. Whilst this rod is a little lighter than my everyday 9ft 6in 7-weight, it is significantly lighter than my 8-weight gear and as far as I can see it can deal with anything that #8 can handle. Now that opens up a whole interesting range of possibilities.

Aimed at competent casters and anglers who want to keep abreast of the latest technology, this Zenith is an impressive start for the Sintrix generation.'


You can find out more info and purchase Hardy rods HERE

Fact File:
Hardy Zenith 9ft 6in #7
Sections: 4
Action angle: 72˚
Stiffness: 176.2 grams
Weight: 99 grams
Rings: Two lined butt ring, single leg snakes
Handle: Full-wells
Fighting butt: Small
Cork quality: Good
Reel seat: Anodised aluminium
Blank: Gloss, greyish olive
Thread: Olive
Build quality: High
Rod bag: Canvas
Rod tube: Aluminium
Price: £649.00
From: Glasgow Angling Centre

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